The Weekly Dispense: All Eyes on California

An upcoming vote in California may set the tone for cannabis legalization efforts nationwide, Canada could enjoy more than $22 billion through the creation of a legal cannabis market, and a new Illinois dispensary looks forward to patient growth.

In case you missed them, here are the cannabis-related stories that caught our attention.

California vote may lead nationwide cannabis reform

If California voters decide to legalize cannabis for recreational use, the state’s actions could have a huge influence on other cannabis legalization efforts nationwide.

“If we’re successful, it’s the beginning of the end of the war on marijuana,” Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California and a former mayor of San Francisco, told The New York Times. Proponents point to other states, including Colorado, as examples of how legalization can drive economic growth.

Read more Election May Be a Turning Point for Legal Marijuana

Canada rec market to hit $22 billion, report says

Canada’s anticipated recreational cannabis market could net the country more than $22.6 billion, according to a new report.

“The market could balloon to $12.7 billion-$22.6 billion with the inclusion of ancillary businesses such as infused product makers, testing labs, security and growers,” writes Marijuana Business Daily, also noting the opportunity for a cannabis tourism market. The publication cites a soon-to-be released report by Deloitte, an accounting and consulting firm.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration has said it would introduce legislation to legalize cannabis for recreational use in spring of next year.

Read more Report: Canada rec cannabis industry could top $26 billion

Illinois dispensary eyes patient growth

A new dispensary in the Prairie State says it expects to have 5,000 registered patients in four years, reflecting industry members’ optimism about the Illinois medical cannabis market.

“Every single person that lives in Champaign-Urbana has a friend or relative who knows somebody who has a qualifying condition,” Ben Rediger, a consultant hired by the owners of NuMed Urbana, told The News-Gazette.

NuMed Urbana will be one of two medical cannabis dispensaries in a nine-county area of East Central Illinois where those 50,000 with qualifying conditions live, reports The News-Gazette, adding that the area’s newest dispensary will be ready for business this Tuesday.

Read more Medical cannabis dispensary has growth potential

Cannabis legalization drives job creation in Colorado

Colorado enjoyed the addition of 18,000 new, full-time jobs last year, as well as a $2.4 billion boost in economic activity, a new report finds.

“If this is done right, regulated right, taxed right, this industry can bring real economic benefits to a state,” study co-author and MPG founder Adam Orens told Portland Press Herald in an interview. The report also reveals that cannabis legalization has helped reduce the state’s black market activity.

Read more Marijuana industry created more than 18,000 new jobs in Colorado last year

Cassandra Dowell

Cassandra oversees communications for Revolution Enterprises, a company committed to cultivating health through the science of cannabis. Prior to joining Revolution, Cassandra covered complex financial transactions and business trends within the cannabis and healthcare industries. During her time as a Chicagoland newspaper editor, she received more than 10 Illinois Press Association and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards for her coverage of mental health and housing issues.